About Dr. Walters

Dr Delores M Walters at Hine CelebrationHer co-edited book, Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery and the Legacy of Margaret Garner (University of Illinois Press, 2013) details the strategies utilized by women of color in resisting subjugation in the past and present.  These women’s resourcefulness, ingenuity and heart-rending determination provide insights on self-authorship to motivate and inspire individuals in societies today.

“The stories in Gendered Resistance serve to promote cultural/historical knowledge and awareness, especially about women of African descent, but they also serve to empower those aspiring to become or already engaged in a professional career — health care for example — thereby enhancing our communities locally, nationally and worldwide.”

Translated into several artistic forms, including a novel, a movie, an opera, and a dance — Margaret Garner’s story continues to resonate with contemporary lives.  Her ability to overcome extreme degradation that threatened her children’s lives, allows us to better understand our own existence and perhaps even transform adversity into opportunity.

Dr. Walters has created workshops and presentations based on what we can learn from the Margaret Garner story about empowerment

Titles for Workshops and Presentations (Tailored to the needs of your class or community) :

  • Margaret Garner and the Legacy of Resistance and Empowerment
  • Journeys of Survival, Real and Imagined:  What the Legacy of Margaret Garner Teaches Us Today
  • Cultural Competency for Today’s Nurses & Other Health Care Providers
  • Historic Remedies:  Empowering Health Professions Students and Underserved Communities through Lessons from the Past
  • Empowering Students, Patients & Ourselves: The Legacy of Margaret Garner

Gendered Resistance: Women, Slavery and the Legacy of Margaret Garner is a collection of essays that anthropologist, Delores M. Walters co-edited with historian, Mary E. Frederickson. Inspired by the searing story of Margaret Garner, an enslaved woman who in 1856 slit her daughter’s throat rather than see her returned to slavery after a brave escape attempt, the interdisciplinary essays focus on women who rejected oppression in historical, contemporary and global settings.

Each chapter, using Garner’s example – the real-life narrative behind Toni Morrison’s Beloved and the opera Margaret Garner — as a focal point, tells a powerful story of women of color who triumphed over economic oppression and sexual violence in such disparate locations as Yemen, Brazil, India, and the United States during the enslavement era.  Embedded in these women’s stories are messages to motivate and empower individuals and communities today — across gender, racial, ethnic, class, age, sexual orientation, religious, and other differences.

Though focused on a woman who faced the horrendous decision of killing her baby daughter rather then “consign her to a life of perpetual bondage, rape and exploitation” – her story nevertheless leaves us with a message of empowerment, inspiration, self-authorship, and of the possibility of achieving our human potential. Walters’s presentations are upbeat, triumphant despite its emanation from a tragic and painful origin.

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My mother, Constance Maxine (Walters) Quinn who died in 2016, was a beacon for loving kindness in the world of so many whose lives she touched. This website is dedicated to her memory and also to two of my brothers: Bruce Elliot Walters who died in 1969 serving his country in Vietnam and to Hubert Nathaniel (“Nat”) Walters who died in 2011 after serving as a police officer on Long Island, NY for over 20 years — and to all who ascribe to peace-loving leadership.